An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (NY only)

Oppose New York Bills Which Allow Unsupervised Practice for Nurse Practitioners

48 so far! Let’s get to 50 signers!

As a concerned resident of New York, I am writing to oppose Assembly Bill A1535A (“A1535A”) and Senate Bill S3056A ("S3056A") which would in effect remove Physician oversight for Nurse Practitioners. At a minimum, Physicians across the country have dedicated seven years of their lives to become a medical doctor. Despite earning a doctorate of medicine and successfully passing the United States Medical Licensing Examinations (Step 1, 2 and 3), medical doctors must complete an additional (minimum) three years of post-graduate medical training also known as residency. By the end of residency, they accumulate over 14,000 hours of supervised clinical training. That is the type of dedication it takes to become a Physician. On the contrary, Nurse Practitioners (“NP”) and Physician Assistants (“PA”) complete and earn a two year Master's degree. Some of these Master's programs may now be completed solely online and, for NP programs, many do not require a nursing background as a prerequisite which was once the standard. Upon graduation, NPs have only 500 hours of clinical training compared to the 4000 hours that a new medical school graduate has. Despite all this training, these new Physicians are unable to practice medicine in any capacity. Yet, these proposed bills would allow mid-level providers with far less training to practice without needing to collaborate with a licensed Physician, or perhaps just as detrimental, allowing them the option to collaborate solely with other NPs. Allowing mid-level providers (who hold a nursing license, not a medical license) to practice without supervision from a licensed Physician is reckless; it would compromise patient's safety and result in less qualified practitioners for the people of New York. Mid-levels have a place in medicine, however, for the safety of the patient, they must have Physician supervision. We must not replace or abandon Physician-led patient care for less qualified practitioners. The people of New York deserve better. Understanding the physician shortage, I would like to bring your attention to Arizona's recent legislation. Senate Bill 1271 (“SB1271”), which was recently signed into law, grants medical doctors (“MD or DO”) who do not match into a residency position the ability to practice under direct supervision of a licensed Physician. Implementing a policy similar to this would expand healthcare access to the people of New York and address the doctor shortage without compromising the level of care patients would receive. While the ultimate goal may be to improve patient's access to healthcare care, expanding the scope of practice for mid-level practitioners should not be the way forward. As a New Yorker who believes in a Physician-led approach to healthcare, I urge you to vote NO on bills A1535A and S3056A.

First sent on May 15 by Physicians For Change

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